Tax news April 2012 | AccountingWEB

Tax news April 2012


Let the IRS Notices Begin

You’ve finished the bulk of tax preparation. Sit back and relax. But don’t get too comfortable, because you can also expect the IRS to start studying the accuracy of returns and taking action on misreporting, underpayments, and errors. The IRS sends most notices to taxpayers within eighteen months after they file.

California Dreamin': Taxes Gone Wild!

According to a new report, former Baywatch star and Playboy icon Pamela Anderson owes the state of California over a half million dollars in back taxes. Another prominent state tax scofflaw is Joe Francis, founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" videos, who is on the hook for more than three quarters of a million dollars.
Election 2012

Obama and Biden Release Tax Returns – Are They Fair?

The two top executives in the US government – President Obama and Vice President Biden – released their 2011 federal tax returns this past week. The Obama's return resulted in an effective tax rate slightly higher than 20 percent. For the Biden, the effective tax rate was more than 23 percent.

Woman Indicted for Using Stolen Identities to File False Tax Returns

A federal grand jury in Montgomery, Alabama, returned an indictment charging Jacqueline Slaton for using stolen identities to file false tax returns, the Justice Department, US Attorney George L. Beck Jr., and the IRS announced on April 5.

Federal and State Tax Returns Due on Tuesday, April 17

Individual taxpayers have an extra day to file income tax returns, extensions, and estimated tax payments this year due to the Washington D.C. holiday, Emancipation Day, which is Monday, April 16.

Alabama Woman Indicted for Tax Fraud

A federal grand jury in Montgomery, Alabama, returned an indictment on March 28, 2012, charging Wanda Davis with filing false federal income tax returns, the Justice Department and the IRS announced on April 2, 2012. The indictment was unsealed April 2 following Davis's initial appearance.

Michigan Man Arrested on Tax Charges

Steven Kern of Marine City, Michigan, has been arrested on eight counts of failing to file his individual tax returns and eight counts of filing false corporate tax returns.

Five Good Reasons to Obtain a Filing Extension

As you're nearing the tax return finish line, you probably have some clients who are stragglers or haven't "checked in" yet. Fortunately, you can still rely on the automatic tax filing extension to bail procrastinators out of a jam. Here's some valuable information to pass along to your clients.

IRS Notice 2012-22 Adjusts Energy Savings Percentage Guidelines

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 includes a tax deduction for investments in "energy efficient commercial building property" designed to significantly reduce the heating, cooling, water heating, and interior lighting cost of new or existing commercial buildings placed into service between 1/1/2006 and 12/31/2013.

Need an Extension to File Your Taxes? e-file!

If you have clients who want information about e-filing, you can pass this article along to them. We hope you'll find it helpful.

Tax Tip: Expand the Reach of Dependent Care Credit

This is the tenth and final article in our series of tax return tips for 2011 returns. It's not unusual for both parents of young children to work during the day while someone watches the kids. But the parents may be able to claim a dependent care credit to offset part of the cost.

TIGTA Report: IRS Computer Security Center Effective, Could Be Better

The CSIRC, which is responsible for monitoring the IRS network for cyber attacks and computer vulnerabilities, "is effectively performing most of its responsibilities for preventing, detecting, and responding to computer security incidents," according to a new report publicly released by TIGTA.

Two Tax Evasion Cases Loom over Lohan as Other Legal Issues Fade Away

According to documents filed at the Los Angeles County Recorder’s Office on February 13, 2012, Lindsay Lohan never paid her federal income taxes for 2010, totaling $140,203.30. The IRS made its assessment of Lohan’s latest failure to pay on September 19, 2011. This is in addition to the $93,701.57 she still owes for 2009.

Will the Courts Uphold IRS Efforts to License Tax Preparers?

The IRS is confident that its initiatives to increase regulation of tax preparers will be found legal, despite challenges from opponents. Last week, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, said the new requirements were being implemented carefully and would "help smoke out unscrupulous preparers."

TaxMasters and CEO Cox Ordered to Pay Penalty of $195 Million

TaxMasters and its CEO Patrick Cox had been accused of defrauding consumers by promising that the firm could walk clients through audits, settle tax disputes, and recover property seized by the IRS. In 2010, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a lawsuit stating that some of the company's claims were false.

Illinois Federal Court Shuts Down "Employee Benefit Plan" Tax Scheme

On March 6, the Justice Department announced that a federal court permanently barred Tracy L. Sunderlage, Linda Sunderlage, and four companies from operating an alleged scheme to help high-income individuals attempt to avoid income taxes by funneling money through purported employee benefit plans.

Tax Tip: How Do You Spell Tax Relief? C-a-s-u-a-l-t-y Loss

This is the ninth article in our series of tax return tips for 2011 returns. Last year was a violent year across the country due of a flurry of natural disasters. If insurance proceeds didn't make your clients whole, they may be entitled to limited tax relief on their 2011 returns.

Alabama Woman Gets Sixty-One Months for Identity Theft and Tax Fraud

On March 13, the Justice Department and the IRS announced that Melinda Clayton of Montgomery, Alabama, was sentenced to sixty-one months in prison. Clayton plead guilty to conspiracy to make false claims, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. She was also ordered to pay $494,424 in restitution.

What To Do if You Can't Pay Your Taxes

With the end of tax season just around the corner, millions may be cringing over income tax bills they simply can't afford to pay. Ignoring payment is not an option, but there are alternatives that taxpayers facing this situation should know about, according to CCH.

Tax Tip: Add on Medical Expenses for a Nondependent

This is the eighth article in our series of tax return tips for 2011 returns. It's often difficult for taxpayers to qualify for medical expense deductions - but not impossible. Although the annual threshold is daunting, clients often overlook or ignore deductible expenses that can help pad their total.


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